For those unfamiliar, The Dirty Youth are a five piece alt-rock ensemble from South Wales who first hit the scene in 2007. Since their formation, the band – made whole by vocalist Danni Monroe, guitarist/key player Matt Bond, bassist Leon Watkins, guitarist Luke Padfield and drummer Freddie Green – have toured extensively and played alongside some titans of the music industry. They’re also no strangers to the stage at major music festivals, such as Download.
Their debut album, Red Light Fix, hit in late 2011. And now – following a successful Kickstarter campaign – the Welsh rockers have finally unleashed its follow-up, Gold Dust, just in time for 2015. Through months of teasing new material and a landmark headlining UK tour in October, they certainly have done a fine job of building up anticipation for its release. This begs the question then, was it worth the wait? The answer is a resounding yes and then some.
Fast paced and exciting, Gold Dust has a sound that is fresh and original yet distinctly Dirty Youth. “I’m Not Listening To You” blasts off with a booming drum beat and striking synths that lead into a robust riff and absorbing vocals. Its energy and enthusiasm makes the whole thing feel like a declaration that the band are back and that they mean business.
Lead single, “Alive”, is already a definitive Dirty Youth anthem. Its compelling synths and heavy riffs combine for an arrangement that’s extremely grand in scale. This is topped off wonderfully by motivational choruses to which it is next to impossible to listen without belting the lyrics back.
“Just Move On” fades in gradually before exploding with an infectious, dancy beat. The memorable melody is brought to life by lively, fetching vocals. It’s a very accessible and captivating track that’s sure to have audiences singing and dancing their hearts out at shows. “The One” takes over with a darker tone. Heavy, penetrating guitar blasts build continuously as it unfolds. It carries a hard rock vibe with a refreshing contemporary spin, concluding with a great electronic breakdown.
“Darkest Wedding” is more of a straightforward pop/rock number. Its riffs have a mellow quality yet generate a great deal of vigour. There’s a remorseful edge to the sound, while emotion and passion are rife within the execution. “Invincible” follows up with dire piano keys before guitars erupt and build. It blends a somber ambience with a classic rock spirit and heartfelt vocals.
Fast and furious riffs and synths get “Bury Me Next To Elvis” off to a rousing start. A thumping drum beat is met with an enthralling melody in the verse, while the chorus is fast and endearing. Its successor, “Don’t Feel Right”, is one of The Dirty Youth’s most powerful efforts to date. Resonating guitars and synths draw you in through their zealous delivery, while the spirited vocals keep you hooked.
“Who I Am” runs fast through its verse before slowing the pace for a chorus in which the music and vocals increase to epic levels. The seriousness of the tune and content is conveyed in a self-assured manner that gives the song a lot of weight. “Bedroom Karate”, on the other hand, is a fantastically fun affair that puts its foot on the gas and doesn’t ease up. Bursting into an uproarious riff, its lyrics and tune are relentlessly catchy. This track has to be the band’s ultimate sing-along anthem. It’s guaranteed to stick in your head and certain to become a crowd pleaser at gigs.
Final track, “Holding On”, is a gorgeous ballad-like composition, made up of chilling vocals and instrumentation. It sounds huge. The melancholy music grows beautifully as it progresses, while the haunting harmony washes over you for a deeply affecting listen.
Gold Dust is a compilation of eleven damn near perfect rock anthems with which The Dirty Youth have truly outdone themselves. Carrying a lot more accessibility than their previous work and swelling with character, this should win the fivesome a plethora of new fans and leave their current ones feeling more than satisfied. Whether you’re familiar with the band or not, you need to check this out. For those who weren’t lucky enough to get their hands on a copy of the album through Kickstarter, it has been announced for general release on March 30th. You can pre-order it online at their official merch store. In the meantime, watch out for the guys live on tour with Fozzy this spring.